E3 kicks off with big announcements

The annual video game trade show E3 kicked off this weekend with big announcements from Microsoft Corp., Ubisoft Entertainment SA, and Square Enix Inc.

The highlights included first looks at an upcoming Ubisoft game based on James Cameron’s Avatar movies and Starfield from Bethesda Softworks, which was purchased by Microsoft last fall for $7.5 billion. Starfield will be out on Nov. 11, 2022 and will not be available on rival Sony Corp.’s PlayStation consoles, Microsoft said.

Here are some of the other big announcements from the first chunk of E3, which continues over the next two days:

  • Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. announced that Elden Ring will be out Jan. 21, 2022. This is one of the most-anticipated video games due to the talent behind it. Elden Ring is a collaboration between From Software, the Japanese developer behind the beloved Dark Souls series, and George R.R. Martin, the author whose fantasy novels were turned into the TV series Game of Thrones.
  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a new game from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. based on the popular Borderlands franchise. It will be out next year.
  • Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6 and Electronic Arts Inc.’s Battlefield 2042 will be two of the big first-person shooter games this fall. Activision Blizzard Inc. hasn’t yet revealed the next entry in its rival Call of Duty series.
  • Square Enix will release a game this fall based on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Unlike the company’s Avengers game, which bombed last year, this title will be single-player-only and won’t include any downloadable content or micro-transaction payments, much to fans’ delight.
  • Square Enix also announced Final Fantasy Origin, a new action game in the popular franchise that will be out in 2022.
    Ubisoft will team up with Nintendo Co. for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, a new mashup between the iconic plumber and the Rabbids series. This is a sequel to the 2017 title and will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch console.
  • At the Xbox showcase, Microsoft offered new looks at indie titles such as the role-playing game Eiyuden Chronicles and 12 Minutes, a game about a time loop starring actors Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe. Microsoft also said the much-anticipated Halo Infinite will be out this holiday season, a full year after its original scheduled launch.
  • The bulk of games shown at Xbox’s presentation will be available on the subscription service Xbox Game Pass, which has been Microsoft’s focus in recent years and has more than 18 million subscribers as of January. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.’s upcoming Back 4 Blood and the popular indie game Hades will join Game Pass this year.

The next big event will be Nintendo’s showcase on June 15 at 12p.m. New York time.

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E3 kicks off with big announcements